Signup date: 25 May 2007 at 4:37pm
Last login: 21 Sep 2007 at 11:30am
Post count: 290
Am completely overwhelmed. Submit end of September, still have lots of writing to do, and just got back so detailed comments from my supervisors that I need some pretty severe re-writing and re-structuring. Have no idea how on earth I'm going to make it right with so little time to go. Feel like curling into a ball and hiding till its all over. Feel like crying but have to keep ploughing on when I've lost confidence in my own ability to write anything decent. Want to wallow in my misery, but have to keep writing. At times like this I wonder why on earth I was invented to be so bad at time management to be struggling at the last minute like this. Take my advice - stop doing analysis early and start writing, don't spend all your time trying every bit of analysis under the sun only to be left with minimal write up time (like me) :o(
Hoo, me too... submitting in september... and now beginning to panic for the viva. I'm writing so much there will be lots of holes because I don't have the time to go through things endlessly. A few of my friends wrote their PhDs and had around 6 months with different people reading their chapters, and playing and editing all the words to make them perfect. I have scheduled myself 2 days per chapter to edit... I write too wordily, my examiners will loose the plot as they try to wade their way through it, and I've put so much in the thesis there are gaps I haven't the time to fill. But on the positive, I've presented my work quite a lot and got really positive feedback, so I've gained confidence that the core of my work is good... it's just a bit baggy around the edges
Hi & congratulations on getting engaged I'm afraid I can't offer any wedding advice since I've not gone through that hoop - though there were a few threads about it recently. However, I would say that unless you are very organised and disciplined, you are likely to go over the end of your funding running out - I took another year (but I was not very organised and went off on random tangents with my analysis) - but most take an extra 3-6 months. You don't want to look frazzled for the wedding - so either use it as a goal to make sure you finish a few months beforehand, or delay the wedding... or bring it forwards to well before you submit. I guess it also depends on how big or expensive a wedding you'd like. If you want a big wedding then i guess you can't bring it forwards... a small intimate wedding that doesn't require so much money or organising might be able to be fit in earlier? (I'd go for the latter myself but it's a very personal thing)
Hi there jojo! And welcome back, and welcome to the club... procrastination is the name of the game... all I had was a weekend off and I struggled to get back into the flow. Tuesday was spent surfing the internet all day then feeling guilty all evening - but then I drew up a new daily schedule (bit severe but when needs must). I started with easy tasks for each day, and get to tick them off at the end of each day... bonus if I get ahead of the schedule. Well it worked for yesterday - I finished the daily task and did half of todays... feeling a lot better (though still stressing about the fact I'm a dreadful writer and my examiners will fall asleep reading my thesis and have a glazed look in my viva). So good luck getting back into the swing of things
you know in my reply I also added a website where academic posts are advertised, but obviously I'm not allowed to put websites in the messages as it appears to be wiped from my message :o( But there is a website which advertises jobs & you can get weekly updates to your mail box. I'm also on a mailing list for my subject that emails me job adverts - ask colleagues if they know of them.
thanks :o) last night I sat down and worked out a new daily schedule... in a bid to try and stay on track. It's going to be tough (no surprises there, I'm a great 'leave it all to the last minute' person). As to after submission - I thought it would be heaven - but having seen other friends look equally frazzled after submission and even after a holiday, I've come to realise that submission isn't the end even though it feels like it at the moment. I have a nice viva panel though... still... on with the grind...
Bleh. Well for a change my supervisors are being terrific now it's coming to the end, returning chapters quickly with very thorough comments. But now I've lost momentum - the pressure is on to finish but I'm struggling to concentrate. So far today I've answered emails, chatted, and been perusing the forum (lots of replies today! It's easier than working on my thesis!), but done about 3 lines of my thesis. I still have one chapter to write the rest of the results, discussion & intro for, my Introduction chapter, my discussion chapter and some pretty severe editing/rewriting of previous chapters. I have less than 7 weeks. I know it's possible but I wish I could just stay motivated... any advice?!!! (trying to stay away from chocolate - I have a bikini to get into by December for my post-PhD holiday ;o))
...Generally a PhD will not get you a well paid stable job - though there are exceptions (computer science is probably one of them, but you don't need a PhD to work in computer science). Good luck And if you do decide to take one of them, you'll get lots of great motivation from everyone on this forum.
p.s. personally, I found that I couldn't work in a job where I had a good stable salary but didn't enjoy the work - so I left and came back to do a PhD and love it (though I am now very poor). If you can find something you love and get a good salary for - well you'll be in heaven (they do exist - my sister loves being a doctor, and is a very generous rich sister!). Otherwise there is a compromise - choose something that you're reasonably happy with (though perhaps not passionate about) but have a good salary & stable job (most of my friends fit in this category). It usually ends up being a compromise. I now find I dream of what I'd do with evenings & weekends off...
Hi Hattie, gosh, what a great position to be in - having lots of great options! However, I would try and work out what you'd either really enjoy doing, or what career you'd like to do before embarking on a PhD. I find a PhD incredibly difficult, emotionally and financially draining - you need to study something that is either a passion (as PinkNeuron suggested) or something that you know is going to get you into a career you'd like. However, they do sound like great PhD's and you wouldn't have been offered them if they didn't think you had the right set of skills to start with. Being a biologist, I would have thought it would be difficult to do a physiology PhD without a science background, and programming comes naturally to me but then I have a mathematical background - if you're quite mathematical then I think you'll find programming is not too difficult. But with either it sounds like there could be a very steep learning curve that you'll need to prepare yourself for.
p.s. I get a much harder time presenting to my department than to a conference... but I always find giving talks even to tough audiences like my department helps - makes you think laterally about your topic - and makes the end result better... and gives you more confidence for the viva...
Definately go for it! To be asked to do a talk means they think your work is good enough - so CONGRATULATIONS on being offered a talk! You might feel your work isn't good enough, but I think all of us phD students feel that - I always feel like one day someone will uncover my secret, that I actually haven't a clue what I'm doing but just feeling around blindly. Also with a talk, you make so much more of an impact - so many more people will know who you are and talk to you about your research, and you won't get torn apart in a conference Q&A! Great experience for your final viva too - where you have to be able to talk about and defend your work. To give yourself more confidence, practice on colleagues. Good luck
Hey no worries about agreeing to work at home. I did a lot of fieldwork in my first 3 years so was rarely in the office anyway - my supervisors never knew when I was there and when I wasn't. Though now I'm writing up from a completely different location (to be with my partner) and only go back to the department occasionally to see my supervisors - I got them to agree this, but I don't think they would have noticed if I hadn't been there. It's my friends who notice the most... It's being able to put in the hours which is the key, but up to you how you do it. Tutoring is a good idea, I'd like to do more of that myself.
Hi... Saxonwhittle - it's not so bad being in your 30s, trust me ;o) ... though I know where you're coming from - I started my PhD at 30 - am now approaching 35 and submitting soon (4 years) - it's not fun being 35 in debt wanting to do a post-doc and have kids... hmmm.
Jobs - in my field of biology people have got either (i) post-docs progressing finally one day if you're lucky into a permanent lectureship; (ii) teaching fellowships in a university; (iii) working for government bodies in policy making/research; (iv) working for environmental consultancies; (v) become a teacher; (vi) working for charities; (vii) working for the biotech industry; (viii) contract work (i.e. self-employed/set up own business). I'm sure there are others, but these are the ones I have friends doing.
Hi, I think that working in a lab (if that's what you want to do in your PhD) would be much better than doing a masters (provided you have good enough grades from your undergrad degree - many funding bodies stipulate at least a 2-1 or a masters) - experience is much more valuable, and will give you a much better idea of whether you want to continue in that field of research or not. But you could always try asking the people you applied for the PhD's for their advice - ask them why you didn't get the posts, and what they'd recommend you doing to help get one in the future - they'll be impressed you asked. Also working in a lab, you may find that if they like you, they'll find funding for you to stay on for a PhD. I think it's a win-win situation! Even better if it's paid!
By far the best route is just by telling anyone you work with & everyone else that you're looking for a post-doc - I've ended up helping to write me into proposals for post-doc funding with researchers that are carrying out research in my field and that I've either been passed onto via a contact, or worked with before. Give a presentation at a conference and mention to anyone you chat to afterwards that you're looking for a post-doc position. Many positions are never advertised, so this is a good inside route to getting one (though a bit more work than perusing the adverts). And you get to make sure the postdoc includes what you want. Good luck :o)
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